“All ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. We are constantly littering our literature with disconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own.” — Mark Twain

Every artist was at first an amateur. Understanding their journey will help you make sense of and accelerate yours.

♦ = must ask question


Starting the Conversation

Start by complimenting the artist again and showing great gratitude for this time
 Briefly explain where you are on your own artistic journey.
 Share what you can articulate about your current vision and voice as an artist
 Ask how the artist would define his or her vision and voice (a metaphor for the way the artist wants the art to speak to people)

Starter Questions (Respect The Craft)

• Did you study art in college?
How long have you been using [their specific medium(s)] to create art?
How much training and education did you receive in your medium(s)?
• What excites you most about the mediums you choose to work with?
How has the form of art you pursue changed since you began?
• What are the things that keep you passionate and motivated in your field?
Have you ever experimented with blending mediums in order to become
more expressive than one medium would allow?


Which artists or experiences have been your greatest sources of inspiration?
• What does it mean to be original? Has your understanding of originality changed over time? When is a work original enough to be my own?
What is your favorite work of art? Why?
What are the most prominent themes you recognize in your art? How did that come to be?
Which of your own art works do you feel most fond of? Why?
What are the greatest insecurities and areas of doubt that you struggle with as an artist?
♦ What do you wished you had learned sooner in your artist’s journey?
• What would your dream project look like?
♦ What practices do you partake in to enhance or spur your creativity?

The People Who Consume Your Art:

• How has your understanding of the way that people consume art changed over time? How has that evolving understanding influenced your own art?
• What are the thoughts and feelings you want people to feel when they see your art?
• What was the most helpful advice you ever got from an artist?
• What was the most helpful advice you ever got from a non-artist who saw your art?

Closing Questions:

What advice can you give me as I piece together my vision and voice?
Do you have any friends who have similar artistic interests as me that you wouldn’t mind referring me to?

Send a nice thank you email.

Since [name of major] is a possible major for me, I would like to speak with you on the subject of your college experience.

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